Arriving at SLC this morning, I got that Sundance feeling immediately upon hitting the baggage claim area. Granted I am rather nostalgic this year, it being my 15th Sundance and all, but I still remember the excitement of landing at SLC the day after Inauguration Day '93. For me the festival began at that spot. A small group of us who had decided to attend Sundance knowing no one, with no real connection to the indie community, met Marco Mueller from the Locarno festival (now head of Venice) and he gave us a ride to Park City after we realized the festival was nowhere near the airport.
It all began at Sundance '93 where Tim LaTorre and I met Mark Rabinowitz, and got to know a few filmmakers including Robert Rodriguez, Bryan Singer, Rob Weiss, Koina Freeman. I found myself inspired by John Pierson's panel discussion featuring a bunch of 20-something filmmakers, and we'd enlist the help of some of them when we eventually launched iLINE on AOL. [The New York Times archive offers an entertaining take on Sundance '93, when the feetival drew 5,000 attendees. A friend the other day told me she read the this year's fest would draw 45,000 people.]
One more memory: Anticipating Morgan Spurlock's new film this year, I just remembered that the SLC baggage claim is where I first met him back in 2002. Having seen "Super Size Me" prior to the festival, I think I startled him by confronting him with a congratulations for his great work on a film no one was supposed to have seen yet. We profiled Spurlock later in the week and I can't wait to see his new film this year.
[iphone photo by eugene hernandez]